The New York City Art & Architecture Guide
While much of New York City’s architecture is of the interior variety, it has important art and design in spades.
Dashwood33 Bond St., Noho | 212.387.8520
Specializing in contemporary photography tomes, Dashwood is lined with every important book on the subject. The owner and staff are always up for helping you find something special or just for a good photo chat. Watch out for their own beautiful editions, including their two books with photographer Ryan McGinley.
The Apartment by The Line76 Greene St., Soho | 917.460.7196
Launched by Vanessa Traina—who has unabashedly exquisite taste—this bricks-and-mortar extension of her clean-lined website is an apartment that you can shop in real life, from the rugs, to the shelving, to the beauty products in the bathroom. We're obsessed with the concept, thanks in no small part to the fact that everything here is something you'd actually want to take home.
Blue Tree1283 Madison Ave., Upper East Side | 212.369.2583
Phoebe Cates and Lisa Matlin's boutique is pretty great: Downstairs, you’ll find really beautiful jewelry and a great assortment of toys, including hand-painted Russian dolls and Keith Haring dominoes. Upstairs, you'll find clothes from little known designers, especially for the neighborhood, like Ally Capellino handbags and Yoshi Kondo dresses. It's not surprising it's a hit on the Upper East Side, as it brings uniqueness and discovery back to a neighborhood that’s generally dominated by big brands.
Dover Street Market160 Lexington Ave., Murray Hill | 646.837.7750
Spanning seven narrow stories in Murray Hill (yes, Murray Hill), Dover Street Market is like a fair funhouse for fashion: Every nook, cranny, and balcony is lined with some of the most inspiring shopping set dressing in New York City. You’d expect nothing less from Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons, who has an eye for the most cutting-edge labels around. Like its counterparts in London and Tokyo, DSM boasts a Rose Bakery, making this the sort of place where you can literally spend five hours.
Edon Manor391 Greenwich St., Tribeca | 212.431.3890
Every season, Edon Manor picks the most desirable shapes from some of the strongest accessory brands: Givenchy, Alaïa, Isabel Marant, and more. It’s almost hard to focus on the shoes, though, since the store—inspired by an English library—is stunning on its own.
Fivestory18 E. 69th St., Upper East Side | 212.288.1338
Young proprietor Clare Distenfeld (she's in her twenties), opened up this exquisitely outfitted Deco townhouse in 2012. While space is tight, she brings together an impeccable edit of men's, women's, and kid's clothing plus gorgeous jewelry, shoes, bags, and home goods. The mix of names we already love in ready-to-wear (Carven, Acne, Preen) plus the stream of unknowns she continually introduces make this a pretty great new addition to the neighborhood's shopping scene.
Kirna Zabete477 Broome St., Soho | 212.941.9656
We’ve gooped about Kirna Zabete before, as owners Sarah and Beth have pretty amazing taste. At their decked out, neon-laced shop, they display only the best pieces from high-end brands like Balenciaga, Derek Lam, and Stella McCartney.
La Garconne465 Greenwich St., Tribeca | 646.553.3303
Slick and all-white, the loft-y space is dotted with wooden racks, filled with all the greatest hits from the popular website, including cutting-edge tailoring from Yohji Yamamoto, Grecian dresses from Zero + Maria Cornejo, and feminine skirts and dresses from Simone Rocha.
Ted Muehling52 White St., Tribeca | 212.431.3825
Designer Ted Muehling’s timeless, nature-inspired pieces come in many exquisite shapes—spindly candlesticks, globe-like earrings—and are the result of collaborations with some of the world’s most revered manufacturers from Lobmeyr crystal to Nymphemburg porcelain. At his store and workspace—his studio is tucked away upstairs—you’ll find his jewelry, porcelain, and crystal, displayed in elegant glass vitrines. You’ll also find everything that inspires him, from found seashells and butterfly displays to the work of other artisans like Gabriella Hale and Axel Russmeyer.
Ten Thousand Things7 Harrison St., Tribeca | 212.352.1333
Jewelers Ron Anderson and David Rees create totally distinctive, sculptural, organic pieces that set off diamonds and rare pearls. After many years in the Meatpacking District, they've relocated to a huge, airy space in Tribeca and broadened the selection to include exclusive homewares and furniture in addition to their own line of jewelry.
Creel and Gow131 E. 70th St., Upper East Side | 212.327.4281
Jamie Creel and Christopher Gow are serious collectors who spend much of their time traveling the world sourcing far-flung objects for their townhouse shop. We go just to see the wacky and elegant displays that mix coral and taxidermy, Suzani textiles and kitschy South African ceramics. It’s a real mix with prices to match, and if you’re looking for a truly offbeat gift—like say, a hand-blown glass hammer and nails—chances are you’ll find it here.
De Vera26 E. 81st St., Upper East Side | 212.288.2288
At this veritable treasure chest, black walls highlight cabinets chock full of objects chosen solely for their beauty, whether they be modern French ceramics from Tse et Tse, rare jewels, or 15th-century religious effigies. It's all the work of owner Federico de Vera who travels around the globe hand-picking and then arranging every single item for his two Manhattan stores. Nothing comes with a label, but should you want the backstory on any object, the staff are expert antiquarians and design connoisseurs. The other location is in Soho.
The Future Perfect55 Great Jones St., Greenwich | 212.473.2500
When The Future Perfect first opened in Williamsburg, it made waves by selling contemporary, well-designed furniture and small home goods by young, totally unknown designers. Nowadays, the store has grown up a bit and moved to Manhattan (and added a location in San Francisco, too). They still highlight their discoveries, but in an almost gallery-like manner, giving each piece space to speak for itself. You can still find their excellent selection of gifts and small goods online. There's also now a location in San Francisco.
Mantiques Modern146 W. 22nd St., Chelsea | 212.206.1494
This is where you should go to to outfit a classy man cave. It's also a good place to find one-of-a-kind antiques in general. You'll find big industrial pieces alongside Hermes travel bags, Louis Vuitton trunks, and designer furniture by people like Isamu Noguchi and Jean Prouvé. And, fittingly, come here if you’re looking to outfit a bar.
Matter405 Broome St., Soho | 212.343.2600
Jamie Grey’s gallery-like design store carries exquisite furniture, lighting, and homewares from a mix of today’s most cutting-edge industrial designers. You’ll find pieces from Rich Brilliant Willing and Bec Brittain, and many exclusive collaborations. Though the aesthetic that runs through the space is extremely minimal, they make an effort to make home-like displays, which makes every visit inspiring.
SHOP Cooper Hewitt2 E. 91st St., Upper East Side | 212.849.8400
Housed in Andrew Carnegie's former Georgian mansion, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum still conserves the original dark wood-lined interiors and imposing staircase, even after closing for a few years for a major upgrade in the hands of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, among others. The shop on the second floor is part of the revamp, too, with the architectural firm's custom modular shelving framing the tailor-made space. The wonderful mix of beautifully designed objects and utilitarian goods remains the same, however, and from designers young and old, from Ben Medansky vases to Tom Dixon spice grinders, and much more. It is by far one of the best museum shops on the planet.
Muji620 8th Ave., Midtown | 212.382.2300
This Japanese export has been quietly opening outposts all over LA and NYC (the tiny to-go kiosk inside JFK's international terminal is particularly genius), though Muji goods have been shoppable at MoMA for years. The stores are simple in both concept and aesthetic: After all the brand is predicated on the idea that the best design is the least design. Minimalist fixtures and neutral color palettes are used to display the most well-designed utilitarian goods—housewares, t-shirts, stationery, and more—that are as functional as they are generic, which allows them to fit in every home regardless of sensibility.
Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter411 Lafayette St., NoHo | 212.861.1200
After spending decades in the art, antiques, and design world—at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the antiques store Didier Aaron, and with the interior designer Jacques Grange—Jill Dienst opened her own gallery in 2005. Now housed in a former warehouse in NoHo, Dienst + Dotter offers a highly curated selection of furniture, paintings, objects, lighting, and books, the staple of which is Scandinavian art and antiques, pure and minimal.
FD Gallery26 E. 80th St., Upper East Side | 212.772.2440
This gorgeous estate jewelry shop looks more like an exceptionally appointed apartment than a store and has more than earned its name: the collection of estate jewelry spanning every era and every designer (Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are the biggies) is nothing if not museum-worthy. Rare treasure hunters in particular flock to FD as it’s one of the few U.S. distributors of JAR. Also worth noting are the vintage accessories by Chanel and Hermes and photography by Man Ray, Richard Avedon, and more.
Jayson Home138 Greene Street, SoHo | 646.892.3188
It was only a matter of time before this beloved Chicago-based vintage furniture and décor emporium made its way to New York. With the brand's signature mix of old and new, the Manhattan pop-up location includes a floral shop, workroom with custom fabrics, plus one-of-a-kind vintage across two light-filled floors.